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5 business-to-business website mistakes

5 common complaints indicating your B2B website isn't generating a positive return on investment…


1. “It looks pretty but it doesn’t generate leads?”

We heard this from a telco not so long ago. And they spent a six-figure sum on a website that looked beautiful, but had no utility. Good design means usefulness, balanced with aesthetics – so you get a fit for purpose outcome. Applying sound business analysis to develop a functional specification, is often overlooked in favour of a designer lacking the commercial experience to be across your customers' entire buying process. Make sure you are informed by your buyer personas – so you know what needs to be placed where on your site.


2. “My agency tells me it should be mobile-first?”

Recently a Big Four firm launched a sub-brand which was mobile-first. Their audience was privately-held, small-medium businesses. The design when viewed from a desktop had little utility or was not that useful, based on what we knew about their audience and their buying process. For B2B, your mobile site's visitors are likely to be looking for a job or trying to find your office. This is something we have learnt analysing the traffic statistics of site after site. For most B2B websites a tablet-first design should be the starting point. Forbes explains that… “By targeting tablets instead of smartphones, not only do you provide computer users with a better reading experience, but you lower adaptation costs.”


3. “Too many words and not enough story?”

We believe that what we have to tell the world about our product or service, is the most important thing for a website. The reality is that your visitors are likely to be time-poor and want to feel that their needs have been understood. They should not be overwhelmed by paragraph after paragraph. Good fit for purpose design includes narrative, and blends both words and pictures to tell a story that engages and builds empathy. This needs to be supported by relevant and appropriate Calls To Action. Get the combination right and your site will generate qualified opportunities.

4. “Website visitors tell us they don’t find it very useful!”

With 57% of the decision process already completed before engaging your salesperson, the more you can digitise the sales process, the better your influence over the purchase decision. Understand the path to purchase, as this tells you what parts of that process need to be supported by your website. Understand your buyers, then design web interactions to support what they want to see. Don not simply tell them everything there is to know about you.


5. “We are not an e-commerce site so we don’t need much of a web presence”?

Your website has replaced your yellow pages listing. It is now the metaphorical or digital shop window to your business. For B2B organisations, a shop window may not seem relevant. Except that in an increasingly digital world, where more and more of the decision process relies on digital interaction – your shop window is very significant. The question to ask when setting a budget for your website build is, how will we differentiate ourselves from the competition and make it easy for customers to do business with us? This will instruct your budget and following ROI expectations for your website project.